How to Recover Data from a PC/Laptop Hard Drive That Won't Boot

Tracy King updated on Jul 18, 2019 to Storage Media Recovery | How-to Articles


When hard drive won't be able to boot on a computer, how to access data? Here, this page shares two solutions to recover data from a PC/Laptop hard drive that won't boot, including [1] use EaseUS bootable data recovery software; [2] copy files from the external hard drive by connecting to another working computer.

Hard drive won't boot, it means that you cannot boot into the operating system. As a consequence, lost access to personal data, installed programs, games, and everything located on the hard drive. Except hard drive is dying, dead or completely damaged beyond repair, it's not a big deal to access hard drive without OS, as long as you find the right method.

So here is the problem: how can you access and recover data from a hard drive that won't boot? If you are having such a problem, read on the get the two solutions in the coming part.

Two Ways to Recover Data from Hard Drive That Won't Boot in Windows 10/8/7

Right here in the below, you'll find two reliable methods that will guide you to directly recover data from a hard drive that won't boot in Windows PC. Just follow the below steps and get your data back right now.

Method 1. Use EaseUS bootable data recovery software

When your computer hard drive fails to boot from a hard drive, you can apply professional EaseUS Data Recovery Software with Bootable Media so to recover data from Windows computer hard drive that won't boot and save all data from the failed hard drive to another secure external storage device.

Just download and install EaseUS data recovery software with bootable media on a healthy computer and follow guidelines to fix the hard drive won't boot error without losing any data now.

Step 1. Create a bootable disk

Prepare an empty USB. If you have important data on it, copy the data to another device. When you create a bootable disk, the data on the USB will be erased. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard WinPE Edition will help you create a bootable disk.

  • Connect the USB drive to PC, launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard WinPE Edition.
create a bootable disk with easeus
  • EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard WinPE Edition will recognize your CD/DVD device or USB drive automatically. You can also export the ISO file.
  • Select the USB drive and click "Proceed" to create a bootable disk.

Step 2. Boot from the bootable USB

  • Connect the bootable disk to PC that won't boot and change your computer boot sequence in BIOS. For most users, it works well when they restart their computer and press F2 at the same time to enter BIOS.
  • Set to boot the PC from "Removable Devices" (bootable USB disk) or "CD-ROM Drive" (bootable CD/DVD) beyond Hard Drive. Press "F10" to save and exit.

Step 3. Recover files/data from a PC/laptop hard drive that won't boot

When you boot from the USB, you are able to run EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard from the WinPE bootable disk.

  • Select the disk you want to scan to find all your lost files. 
selet the drive
  • Click Scan to start the scanning process.
let the software scan the drive
  • Recover data from the computer or laptop.

After the scan completed. You can preview all recoverable files, select the targeted files and click "Recover" button to restore your files. You'd better save all of the recovered data to another place to avoid data overwriting.

recover data from the computer

After this, you can try to reinstall Windows system on your computer hard drive that won't boot and then you can copy restored data back to your computer and reuse them again.

Method 2. Copy files from the external hard drive by connecting to another working computer

The other way that you may try is to manually retrieve and get files and data off a hard drive that won't boot on your PC with these steps below:

1. Switch off the computer power, remove the battery and unplug your laptop or computer from the power outlet.

2. Open your laptop's case and locate the hard drive that fails to boot > Disconnect hard drive cables, unscrew it and pull it out of the case.

3. Inset the hard drive into an external hard drive case and connect it to a new PC.

Or insert the drive into another computer which is running in good condition.

4. Reboot the new computer from its standard OS on the main drive, and then you can read and access the hard drive data there.

5. Finally, copy files and get data off the hard drive that won't boot to a new storage device.


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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why cannot I recover 2GB data for free?

It is recommended to check the version installed is Free or Trial because they are different versions.

Trial has data preview function but cannot save any files, while the Free version enables to recover 2 GB files. The default free space is 500 MB and you may share the product on social media to get another 1.5 GB.

2. Why cannot the recovered files be opened?

A file is saved as 2 parts on the storage device: directory info (which is comprised by file name, time stamp and size info, etc.) and data content.

If the files with original file names and folder structures cannot be opened, one possible reason is the corrupted directory info. There is still a chance to recover the data content with the RAW Recovery method in our software.

3. Why isn't it suggested to recover the files back to the original drive?

The storage structure of the lost files would be altered or damaged by any changes on the drive. If you save the recovered files back to the same drive, the original data structures and data content would be corrupted or overwritten, which causes permanent data loss. So you should prepare another disk to save the files.

4. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?

The Free version helps you save 2GB files to better verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.

5. How long does it take to scan the drive?

It strongly depends on the capacity of your hard drive and the performance of your computer. As reference,most drive recoveries can be completed in around 10 to 12 hours for a 1-TB healthy hard drive in general conditions.

About Data Recovery Wizard

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